Introduction. Edible wild plants
are nature’s gift to mankind. Considering the growing need to identify
alternative bio-nutritional sources, some underutilized species
of figs (Ficus carica L., F. palmata Forssk.,
F. racemosa L.) and mulberries (Morus alba L.
, M. nigra L, M. laevigata Wall.)
of the family Moraceae were evaluated as wild edible fruits to study
their nutritive and mineral composition in order to prioritize their
edibility for indigenous people. Materials and methods.
The major proximal components (moisture, ash, lipids, proteins,
fibers and carbohydrates) were determined by standard AOAC methods.
The concentration of various minerals (K, Ca, Mg and Na) and trace
elements (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu and Ni) were recorded by using an atomic
absorption spectrophotometer. Results. Our results
indicated a range of moisture contents from 17.82–80.37 g·100 g–1
(fresh weight basis) in F. carica-M. laviegata; protein, 6.31–13.50 g·100
g–1 (dry weight basis) in F. glomerata-M. alba;
crude fats, 1.02–2.71 g·100 g–1 in F. palmate-F. glomerata;
carbohydrates 69.47–75.58 g·100 g–1 in M. alba-M. nigra;
and fiber 7.63–17.81 g×100 g–1 in M. laviegata-F. palmate,
respectively. The significantly highest energy value was computed
in M. laviegata (367.7 kcal·100 g–1). Moreover,
sufficient quantities of essential elements were found in all the
studied materials. The highest levels of N [(0.24 ± 0.07) mg·g–1]
and Fe [(1.43 ± 0.42 mg·g–1] were found in M. laviegata;
Na [(1.92 ± 0.11 mg·g–1] and Mg [(6.92 ± 0.37 mg·g–1] in F.
palmate; and K [(17.21 ± 0.03 mg·g–1] in F. glomerata.
Significant variation existed among the selected species in all
the nutritional parameters. Conclusion. According to
our results, fig and mulberry fruits are recommended for commercial-scale
production for the green industry to overcome food crises as they
are potential food sources, particularly Morus laviegata and
Ficus palmata, with rich nutritional attributes and mineral profiles.